Lou Lamoriello Zach Parise

Devils GM Lamoriello: “You don’t replace a Zach Parise — you just don’t do that”

4 Comments

Shortly after ex-Devils captain Zach Parise inked a 13-year, $98 million deal with the Minnesota Wild, New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello spoke with the media about what the future has in store.

Or, more specifically, what it doesn’t.

“You don’t replace a Zach Parise. You just don’t do that,” Lamoriello said. “So we will have to make some adjustments and make some transactions if possible. But we will not turn our heads and not go forward with reference to getting this team to where we feel it should be every year.”

Lamoriello likened the departure to Scott Niedermayer leaving the Devils after the 2003-04 season. Like Parise, Niedermayer was New Jersey’s captain at the time and regarded to be one of the prizes of free agency (he eventually signed in Anaheim, despite the Devils offering to make him the highest-paid player on the team.)

That said, money wasn’t an issue when it came to Parise’s offer.

“Yes, our offer was competitive. We did not, at any time, have a phone call that we needed to change it or that it had to go up. It was competitive,” the GM said. “There was never a talk about money after our initial meeting in Toronto, where we made our offer. The response was the money we offered would not be the issue.

“We did not get a return call saying the number had to go up. The decision, from what Zach told me, was based upon going home and playing with someone he grew up with. Going home was the real focus.”

Parise told Lamoriello if he didn’t  “go home” to play in Minnesota, he would’ve stayed in New Jersey.

Small consolation for the general manager left to fill what’s considered an unfillable void.

“He was our captain. He was our leader, a prototype player,” Lamoriello said. “It’s a loss. That’s an understatement.”

PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice

Leave a comment

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Shane Doan took a friendly jab at the the movie “Miracle” and the Miracle on Ice. (BarDown)

–The best of the worst Upper Deck hockey cards from 2015-16. (Puck Junk)

–Here’s a list of the top 50 players in WHL history. (WHL)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A sad story about how Chris Phillips feels helpless as his hometown of Fort McMurray burns. (CBC)

–“You want to get back into things right away (but) I think these last four or five months have been good for me.” Former Penguins coach Mike Johnston is ready to coach again. (Local XPress)

–Blues forward Jori Lehtera is in a pretty random commercial:

Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win

133 Comments

The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.

Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.

With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.

It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.

Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.

The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?

Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:

If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.

Sidney Crosby looks hurt (and furious) after Alex Ovechkin slash

ovicrosbynbcsn
NBCSN screen
20 Comments

Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.

An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.

After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.

You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.

Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.

Dirty or not? Evgeni Malkin’s hit on Daniel Winnik

20 Comments

Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.

Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.

Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.